Do Thelemites Embrace Humanity, or Do They Oppose it?

Hear me, ye people of sighing!

The sorrows of pain and regret

Are left to the dead and the dying,

The folk that not know me as yet.
 – Liber Al vel Legis II:17

Dear Friend,

Si Vales, Valeo

Your question is an ethical one about whether a mystic or magician should embrace humanity, or ignore them without concern for their desires, well-being or happiness. You ask if consideration of other people’s feelings might hinder mystical progress in Thelema.

That is a very difficult question to answer in an email, but I know why you ask, because I have been reading the same Facebook posts of some of the more vocal “Thelemic Experts.” My answer isn’t going to be that helpful, because it depends on who you ask and what their incentive to adhere to Thelema might be: What is their motivation?

Buddha was able to separate himself emotionally from the suffering of his fellows, but he didn’t do that because he thought he was better and less deserving of suffering than his fellows, as many Thelemites believe.

Speaking for myself, I view nature as Thelemic. That is, it is true only to itself. Therefore, I don’t believe it is “natural” (or possible, for that matter) for a human to separate themselves from other humans. It doesn’t even work with animals. I don’t believe that compassion is properly understood in the context of Thelema.

Furthermore, the excuse that helping people survive creates weakness sounds more like dishonesty, self-deception, laziness and lack of concern. Why do I think that? Because the people who are most loud about survival of the fittest or social Darwinism are the ones who most often ask for help when they fall on hard times.

To say it another way: It is not my job to know someone else’s True Will. If my endeavor to help someone rise above their misery enslaves them in some fashion, that is due to a lack of understanding in THEIR True Will and that is not my concern. It is too easy for Thelemites to shrug off social responsibility under some lofty idea of saving people from slavery.

In OTK, we have a different approach to the issue of Compassion. The Great Work is difficult. This is why it is called “great.” We also understand that it is difficult to contemplate one’s true nature and their relation to the whole when they are worried about such base issues as what they are going to eat. We don’t claim to be the “one true way” to all things Thelema. Our way is our way.

Pax Profunda